New Castle News

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February 19, 2013

Rulings made on fatal fire

NEW CASTLE — The victims of Sunday’s fire in Perry Township died of smoke inhalation.

Lawrence County Coroner Russell Noga issued the ruling in the deaths of Phillip James Illig Sr., 49, and Jessica Lynn Morehouse, 28, both of 6247 Route 488, Portersville.

He ruled their deaths as accidental. Noga pronounced them dead at the scene.

The bodies were found in the bedroom of a mobile home that was engulfed by flames when firefighters arrived after 2 a.m. Sunday.

Trooper Luke Nelson, state police fire marshal, said Tuesday the cause “has been ruled undetermined. Although it appears to be accidental.”

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